This morning I met a Canadian entertainment legend, a member of the Order of Canada, and one outstanding Ghostbuster. Dan Aykroyd is in Vancouver today for a public appearance at the BC Liquor Store to promote his Crystal Head vodka. You’ve probably seen it and wondered about its curious shape and Dan is here to tell you about its benefits and all around coolness.
Things I Learned From Dan Aykroyd Today
It’s not every day that you walk into the Vancouver Club on West Hastings, walk down a quick set of stairs and enter a brightly-lit room surrounded by crystal heads filled with vodka… and Dan Aykroyd is behind the bar. With whole-hearted passion Dan told a small group of Vancouver media about his venture with Crystal Head, focusing on its merits as a spirt and asserting its purity and Canadian heritage.
Crystal Head is 100% Canadian goodness
“Our theory with Crystal Head is that you’ll need additives to make a great cocktail so why not start with a vodka that has no additives?” High quality Canadian Peaches and Cream corn is used to produce Crystal Head, it’s gluten free, additive free (no glycol or citrus oils or added sugars), is made with pristine Newfoundland water, and is distilled four times.
As Dan puts it: “If you open products that are the norm — lesser products, less expensive products, lesser quality — you will know that they smell like Chanel No 5. When you open our bottle it smells like alcohol because we do not mask the alcohol.”
What’s Dan’s favourite sound in the world?
As the Vancouver Club‘s Master Barman Jonathan ‘Johnny’ Richard shook up a “China Head” cocktail for us Dan said: “Here now comes my second favourite sound in the world,” which was followed up with, “my first favourite sound is that of the Harley Davidson motorcycle.”
“I am always trying to do something better in life. I always try to collaborate with people to do a better bit. That might have been a number one movie, a number one television show, a number one record, a number one radio show, I have always chosen great collaborators and we make great products.”
You can submit your own Crystal Head art
The shape of the vodka’s bottle is based on the legend of the Crystal Heads, which carries its own mystery and allure. I asked Dan about the culture of the bottle that is emerging, as I’ve seen art pieces created by people around the world using it as a canvas. He said that the skull shaped bottle project came from two artists, himself as an actor and writer, and the bottle’s designer and creator John Alexander.
“We knew that it would be well-received in the design and artistic community and if you go on our site you’ll see we’ve had thousands of submissions from all over the world. They put it in leather, they put in bronze, they put it in rhinestones, they paint it, they put gold plate on it.” In fact a forensic scientist in Scotland even re-created a face for the skull.
Crystal Head celebrates the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary
A natural fit, Dan loves great music and great vodka. The Crystal Head Rolling Stones Gift Pack is available at Duty Free stores in Surrey, Aldergrove, and Abbotsford.
Sherlock Holmes has a Ghostbusters connection
Dan Aykroyd is also known for his spiritualism, and for being a UFOlogist, believing in mediums, psychics and other paranormal communications. Ghostbusters, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, brought some of his beliefs to light.
“There’s a book my dad wrote called History of Ghosts you can get it on Amazon. It tells the whole story of how it’s really my family business, and how we originated Ghostbusters from just my dad’s research, my grandfather’s research, and my great-grandfather’s research.”
Dan’s great-grandfather actually corresponded with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. When I asked if he was a Holmes fan (on behalf of my Stormy Petrel friends) Dan replied, “Oh yes. Absolutely, sure. Who isn’t really?!”
The role for which most people recognize Dan Aykroyd
“Men, aged 25 to 40, it’s Ghostbusters. Women aged 20 to 30, it’s My Girl. They don’t know me from anything else – ‘you’re the dad in My girl‘. That’s it.”
Then he continued and I’ll never forget the big, proud smile on his face when he told me this. “People in the intelligence community in the United States and Washington, DC it’s Spies Like Us. Some of them have said to me, ‘I went into this community and this business because of Spies Like Us‘. So… I am responsible in part for the careers of young intelligence agents that are defending our freedom throughout the world because they went into that business.”
How You Can Meet Dan Too
Meet Dan tonight for a bottle signing event at the BC Liquor Store on at 5555 Cambie in Vancouver from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. He will then head to Victoria tomorrow, March 15th, for an event at Liquor Planet from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. He is absolutely genuine and gracious, and he definitely knows his spirits (both of the drinkable and paranormal variety). Crystal Head is a home-grown Canadian product worth celebrating, especially with such a fantastic icon like Dan Aykroyd at its core.
Please enjoy responsibly! Must be 19+ to attend the public liquor store events.